They say "You live and die by your team selection" and judging by Fabio Capello's squad for the World Cup Qualifiers, the Italian is closer to failing then suceeding. Capello has stunned many observers by omitting Peter Crouch and Michael Owen.
These two players have shown more form in the start of yet another Premiership season then the strikers selected for international duty. Wayne Rooney, Jermaine Defoe, Emile Heskey and Theo Walcott are the strikers vying to face Andorra and Croatia.
Wayne Rooney has looked average in the opening few games, playing more outside the box then in it. The once teenage sensation has come in for flak for his lack of goals but the Manchester United star was always going to have a guarenteed place.
Jermaine Defoe is a good striker and has started the season with Portsmouth in fine form. Two goals against Everton showed the nation that the ex-Spurs man is still a quality act. Not many will argue about his inclusion but has Defoe ever done anything spectacular in the Three Lions shirt? The answer is no.
Emile Heskey is a player I've always admired for his physical strength and skill off the ball. He was simply amazing in the World Cup qualifiers last year against Russia and Isreal and always preforms well in an England shirt. His good start to the season with Wigan won't have hurt his chances either and between himself and Crouch it's a close call.
Theo Walcott? Sorry Fabio but this is pure nonsense, I agree the player is gifted and one of the most exciting talents in recent history but a striker? Surely he won't be any better then Owen and Crouch in goalscoring terms. Why doesn't Capello find Walcott a role in midfield where he'll be more effective?
So Capello has no proven goalscorers in his squad for two crucial qualifiers. That should prove no problem against Andorra but when Engand face Croatia can they find the vital goals from players who aren't exactly famed for goals in England shirts.
Has Capello made his first mistake or will it be a masterstroke from the Italian? Only time will tell but could Capello rue this decision as McClaren did the Beckham decision two years ago.